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MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima submitted to the Senate her copy of the signed list of lawmakers alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles implicated in the Philippines’ biggest corruption scandal in recent history.
The one-page list names Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, and 12 former and incumbent senators.
De Lima has yet to submit the accompanying affidavit of Napoles, and asked for a one-week extension or until May 22. The Senate granted this request.
Watch this report below.
The list bears close similarity to the one Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo Lacson submitted to the Senate but with additional names handwritten. Lacson said Napoles’ husband Jaime and two children gave him a copy of the list in March.
(Editor’s Note: There are 12 lines of handwritten entries in the list. We initially re-typed some of the handwritten names but decided to remove them because some remain illegible. The ones retained are those typewritten.)
The following are the senators in the De Lima version of the list:
- Bong Revilla
- Jinggoy Estrada
- Juan Ponce Enrile
- Vicente Sotto
- Loren Legarda
- Koko Pimentel
- Manny Villar
- Alan Peter Cayetano
- Gringo Honasan
- The late senator Robert Barbers
- Francis “Chiz” Escudero
- JV Ejercito (listed as a former congressman)
The list also includes about 70 congressmen, 3 agriculture officials, two agrarian reform officials, implementing agencies’ officials, and agents.
The list was typewritten but additional names were written by hand. These include one “Cong Angara-APO” but it was unclear if this referred to Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.
Also on the list are names of administration allies: former Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, who faces graft charges over the scam, and Technological Education and Skills Development Authority chief Joel Villanueva.
Like the Lacson version, the De Lima copy also names relatives of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: son, Pampanga Representative Mikey Arroyo, and her late brother-in-law, former Negros Occidential Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo.
Below the list was Napoles’ signature dated “4-22-2014,” and “1:57 am.”
‘First list signed by Napoles’
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto “TG” Guingona III refused to comment on the contents of the list, saying “The list will speak for itself.”
De Lima gave Guingona the list during a one-hour closed-door meeting in his Senate office, along with Senate committee blue ribbon committee vice chairman Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III.
“This is the list and it is signed. According to Secretary De Lima, it’s signed by Janet Lim Napoles herself in front of her. There are handwritings here. According to Secretary De Lima, this is personally written by Janet Lim Napoles,” Guingona told reporters after the meeting.
Guingona said that De Lima asked for a one-week extension of the deadline to submit the list and Napoles’ affidavit.The chairman agreed to grant the extension, but only for the affidavit of Napoles because De Lima said the alleged mastermind and her lawyers were still preparing this.
The senator insisted that the list be submitted to the Senate on Thursday, the deadline indicated in the subpoena the committee issued.
“I think it’s time we put an end to all speculation. This is the first list personally signed by Ms Janet Lim Napoles,” Guingona said.
Asked if this meant there will still be a second list or the list will be subject to change, Guingona said, “[De Lima] did not [say]. She did not say either way. I do not know. I cannot speculate. But for now, this is the list that has been signed by Janet Lim Napoles.”
Guingona said the only documents De Lima submitted on Thursday were the one-page list, and her letter asking for extension of the deadline.
The senator said the committee will wait for Napoles’ affidavit but will likely hold a hearing on the documents. Earlier Thursday, Guingona’s committee issued a subpoena for the digital records of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy on the scam.
De Lima refused to answer questions from the media after her meeting. Yet in a letter she gave Guingona, she said that she has in her possession an initial affidavit of Napoles that covers only the first batch of complaint over the pork barrel scam, and the Malampaya fund complaint her department filed before the Ombudsman last year.
“We are still awaiting [Napoles’] extended and much more comprehensive affidavit, which is expected to contain her narration of facts pertaining to all those named in the list,” De Lima wrote.
Guingona released the list despite De Lima’s request to wait for the completion of the justice department’s investigation.
“The ends of fair and thorough administration of Justice would be best served by awaiting the completion of a fullblown fact-finding investigation by the proper authorities before the disclosure of any list or unverified allegations,” De Lima said.
Napoles is accused of orchestrating an intricate corruption scheme involving the top levels of the executive and legislative branches of government. She faces plunder charges for allegedly conniving with officials to funnel pork barrel funds to her bogus non-governmental organizations, and splitting with them millions of pesos meant for development projects.
Months after testifying under oath at the Senate in November 2013 that she knew nothing about the scam, Napoles made a surprise turnaround. On April 22, she met with De Lima for 5 hours and gave a “tell-all” about the scandal.
Yet it turned out that her husband and two children also gave a copy of the list of officials she implicated to Lacson back in March. Whistleblower Sandra Cam claimed to also have a copy of the list. President Benigno Aquino III said he too saw different versions of the Napoles list. The existence of different lists sparked confusion and questions about Napoles’ credibility. (READ: How credible is Janet Napoles?)
Luy and several lawmakers said the Napoles list was meant to “muddle the issue,” referring to her involvement in the scam and the plunder charges to be filed against opposition Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
Angara: Records will bear me out
Sought for comment on the De Lima version of the list, Abad said, “My position stays.” He was referring to his vehement denial of the Lacson version of the list. The budget secretary and former Batanes Representative had said that Napoles was “hallucinating.”
Senator Sonny Angara, who was dragged into the scam for the first time, issued a statement to deny the allegations.
“All my PDAF from 2004 to 2013 were allocated to [local government units], schools and hospitals within my congressional district in Aurora. For transparency, I have released all my PDAF records to the media. In my 3 terms as congressman, I have never allocated any of my PDAF to any NGO for that matter. Records will bear me out,” Angara said.
Angara released a detailed list of his PDAF records since he became Aurora representative in 2004 (see below).
Ejercito, who earlier denied the allegations along with other senators named, said he will deliver a privilege speech next week to address the charges.
“I plan to just put an end to this issue. I am collecting all evidence to end this because I’m really tired of defending myself for an issue I’m not involved with. It’s so tiring,” Ejercito told Rappler in a phone interview.
He said he is gathering evidence on the alleged P5 million mentioned in the Inquirer report about Luy’s records, where he supposedly gave the money to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“I will explain how it was spent or not spent,” Ejercito said.
Some of the other senators and lawmakers named in the De Lima copy of the Napoles list already responded to the same allegations in the Lacson version.
Below is a photo of the list, as Guingona released to the media.
This is the list, re-typed by Rappler.
SENATORS (former and incumbent)
Juan Ponce Enrile
Allan (sic) Peter Cayetano
Francis Chiz Escudero
CONGRESSMEN/WOMEN (former and incumbent)
Jesus Judin Romualdo
Reynaldo Umali (with the word “Gov” written beside it)
Neil Benedict Montejo
Rizalina Seachon Lanete
Scott Davies Lanete
Sunny Rose Madamba
Raul del Mar
Marc Douglas Cagas
Nanette Costalo Daza
Benasing Macambon Jr
Deniss (sic) Cunanan
Ruby Tuazon (sic)
Bryan Yasmuan (sic)
Catherine Mae “Maya” Santos
Patricia “Gay” Agana Tan
Here is De Lima’s letter to Guingona:
Below is the list of Angara’s PDAF records, which he released after his name was included in the list: